Pilgrimage to Iona: A Mythical Look at a Very Real Island


cover49039-smallThe island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland, is a place of reverence and mystique. Rumored to be where the Book of Kells was originally penned, as well as a possible stopping place for Jesus and Mary Magdalene in some beliefs, the new book Pilgrimage to Iona explores an island that so few people know even exists. Claire Nahad’s book explores the connections between Iona and Rosslyn Chapel in Edinburgh as well.

While Pilgrimage to Iona is interesting and filled with myths, lore and legends, Claire Nahmad’s tone often turns to a more New Age feel. For readers not used to the concept of God-Beings or angels, the book may come off a bit farther from a traditional way of thinking. As a former visitor to Iona and the chapel there, I found the book often hard to follow. Sheep outnumber the people on the island and it is mostly left alone save for the tourist season when visitors decide to visit this tiny island rather than go to the better known Island of Skye. Perhaps it is just a jaded perspective of a former visitor vs. a true believer, but I found many sections of the book to be hollow and filled with lofty language and imagery rather than the hard facts of Iona.

Pilgrimage to Iona is a book for those readers who feel connected to something broader than themselves and for those with an incredibly open mind. The mythology is fascinating, as is the connection to Rosslyn Chapel. For fans of Templar mythology and an interest in Iona, the book is a good read.

Pilgrimage to Iona is available from Watkins Publishing Limited.


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